Bearing Witness to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Bearing Witness to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
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Bus Trip

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Native American Bearing Witness Retreat, which will take place at the Black Hills, goes hand in hand with the history and present circumstances of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota, eighth largest reservation in the country. Pine Ridge is the locus of several historic events in the history of the Lakota Nation, including the Badlands site where the last of the Ghost Dances was held, the ensuing massacre at Wounded Knee, the takeover of Badlands areas by the US government for bombing purposes in the 1940s, and occupation of Wounded Knee by members of the American Indian Movement in the 1970s. This is also an area of deep-seated poverty and hardship.

On Monday, August 10, at 8:00 am, buses will pick up participants from designated locations near the Rapid City airport in South Dakota to bring them to the Reservation. Every hill and valley on the Reservation has stories that reveal the people and the place. Oglala guides will not only provide a comprehensive history of the Oglala Lakota, their banishment to the Reservation and the state of the tribe now, but will also share personal stories and perspectives regarding the people and families who live there now. This is an opportunity to hear personal narratives rarely available to non-Indians.

The tour will include a drive through Badlands National Park on the northern portion of the Reservation and on to the town of Kyle in its center. The bus will then drive south through Porcupine and make a stop for reflection and prayer at the Wounded Knee memorial site, where 300 of Big Foot’s band were massacred by the US Calvary on December 29, 1890. The route will then go through the town of Pine Ridge in the southwestern corner of the Reservation before continuing west into the Black Hills and dropping participants off at the Retreat Site.

The buses will be equipped with toilets. Bag lunches will be provided since there are no convenient restaurants or dining spots. Dinner will be served at the Retreat Site.

This trip will highlight some of the results of the historical relationship among Indians, non-Natives, and the US government. For this reason it is an essential part of the retreat and covered by your retreat fee. Please make every effort to be in Rapid City in time for the trip. If you are not on board one of the buses bringing participants into the Reservation and then to the Black Hills, you will be responsible to get to the Retreat Site on your own.

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